A bloodied but awake Lars Eller leaves the Bell Centre via stretcher

A bloodied Lars Eller leaves the Bell Centre via stretcher


The first round of the playoffs are grinding along towards completion, and already there are more players done for the season than you can count on one hand. A lot of these aren’t your typical playoff injuries either – this year isn’t the usual rash of “Oh he’s so brave, he played through a broken finger/sore back/whatever!” This year we’ve got broken faces, missing teeth, and starting goaltenders done for the duration. And there’s still three more rounds to go. For some teams, anyway.

Poor Habs :(

Montreal seems to have borne the brunt of the injuries so far, and it’s difficult to argue against that having had a significant impact on their implosion in game 5 and resulting elimination.

Lars Eller – Facial fractures, teeth, concussion

Eller took a crushing open-ice hit from Ottawa’s Eric Gryba in game 1 of the Sens-Habs series. It earned Gryba two games, and Eller a night in the hospital, a concussion, facial fractures, and dental work. The fact that he didn’t protect himself when he hit the ice face-first is your best clue that Eller was already unconscious when he hit. Somehow the video tells completely different stories depending on the viewing angle, so it’s difficult to tell if the initial hit was to the head, if he took a shot in the head after the initial impact to the <insert controversial body part of your choice here>, or if this was a hellacious case of a head going one way while the brain contained therein goes in another. Welcome to your concussion, Lars Eller. The single night in the hospital and Eller’s return to skating (in a cage) has me suspicious that his “facial fractures” are a broken nose – which frequently doesn’t get surgical correction until the swelling goes down (if at all). It’s entirely possible he has nondisplaced fractures elsewhere, but the rate limiting step to his return is clearly going to be his concussion.

Brian Gionta – Left biceps tendon tear

So what if Brian Gionta cried when he got this diagnosis? Not only does this hurt like a bitch and give you one essentially useless arm, he’s already been through it once and this kept him out of the final game. BACK UP OFF GIONTA.



The biceps has plenty of tendons, all of which are important in making it work. Its jobs are to flex (bend) your elbow, and supinate your hand (turn your hand palm-up). Those actions are obviously pretty integral in the whole having-an-arm-that-works thing.

biceps stuff

See if you can find the important stuff!

Thanks to other arm muscles, you’ll still be able to perform the movements for which the biceps is responsible, you’ll just suck at it, because you’ll have all the strength of a fluffy kitten. The injury itself can be from an injury (falling on an outstretched arm, lifting something too heavy), or from overuse. The solution is reattaching the tendon to the bone. The problem is this is a two to three month healing period. In Gionta’s case, this injury to his right arm last year was closer to four months.

Wanna learn something gross? Of course you do! The hook test is a quick and easy way to tell if there’s a distal biceps tendon rupture. Stick your arm out in front of you. Bend the elbow. Flex your biceps. Now take your opposite index finger, make a hook shape with it, and from the lateral side (outside) of your flexed arm, hook that finger under the tendon where it attaches near the elbow. Gross.

Carey Price – Lower body

At the end of game 4, Price suffered a mysterious lower body injury. On the play in question he slowly keeled over from his knees to the ice, then struggled to get up. Groin? Hip? Abdomen? Leg? Does it matter? Nope. Can anyone can tell me the point of being coy about injuries this late in the season? Oh wait, I actually don’t care any more.


Elsewhere in the league, the Islanders aren’t as bad as you thought they were.

But without Andy MacDonald, they’re not quite as good as they thought they were.

Andrew MacDonald – broken left hand

MacDonald was the recipient of a Douglas Murray slapshot to the hand in game 4 of the Pens-Isles series, a shot that came with a hand fracture that’s going to require surgery. What makes a fracture so special that someone needs to go in and fix it? If it’s badly displaced, or if it’s in an area where there’s a concern for blood supply compromise. The scaphoid bone is the perfect example of such a bone – a tiny little jerk at the base of the thumb that likes to poop out because of a second-rate blood supply.  Regardless of the exact nature of MacDonald’s fracture, he’s done for six to eight weeks. Sorry, Isles.


Toronto: Honest and open as usual

Mark Fraser – “Cranial area”

Seriously, Toronto? Cranial area? Just go with upper body injury and be done with it.



Yep. Horrifying.

Milan Lucic slapshot versus forehead? Slapshot wins every time. The puck seems to have hit Fraser above the left eye, and he skated off the ice with a towel held to his face to stop the enthusiastic bleeding that resulted. While the Leafs won’t say exactly what’s wrong with him, they did say he had surgery for a fractured facial bone. Smart money is on an orbital bone (eye socket), which is the second most common facial fracture right behind the nose. Curious about how they fix broken faces? Here you go. Here is where I’d normally launch into a diatribe about how he should have had a visor on. That picture does a fine job of making that argument for me, so I’ll spare you.


Clearly there’s plenty of other injuries on the go – Washington’s Martin Erat did something to his left arm, Justin Abdelkader destroyed Toni Lydman and gifted him with a concussion, Martin Havlat got Salo’d, a bunch of people have lost teeth, and there’s something going on in Brooks Laich’s groin. The last injury I’ll examine? Well…


Vancouver – Hurt feelings

Swept in the first round. Ouch.